Sobig Virus Damage Breaks World Record

London, UK, 11:00 GMT 29 August 2003 – Sobig has risen to become the most damaging virus ever according to the mi2g Intelligence Unit as it continues to choke bandwidth for users with both clean and infected machines worldwide albeit spreading more slowly than at its outbreak.

Sobig has overtaken Klez, Love Bug and Yaha in the league table of most economically damaging malware tracked within the SIPS database, having now recorded $14.62 billion of economic damages worldwide measured in terms of lost productivity as of 10:30 GMT. The malware Klez has been pushed to number two ($13.94 billion) and Love Bug ($8.75 billion) has descended to number three as a result. The value of the SIPS engine lies in its common techniques for calculating economic damage consistently over the last eight years.

“Even within those households, corporations, organisations and government departments which are completely free from Sobig, valuable working time is still being lost due to a continuous flood of returned mail messages and notifications from infected computers and virus scanners as Sobig continues to leave its legacy on email systems through backlogs on servers and proxies,” said DK Matai, Executive Chairman, mi2g.

The ferocious rate and extent of economic damage wrought by the Sobig virus family after peaking is considerably greater than previous malware tracked by the SIPS database. In just under eleven days the economic damage attributable to Sobig has risen from $5.59 billion to $14.62 billion as millions of organisations and households worldwide continue to lose productivity from huge quantities of unwanted email.

The mi2g Economic Valuation Engine for Damage Analysis (EVEDA) component of SIPS calculates damages from malware and hacker attacks using a universal algorithm developed and refined as part of the SIPS programme initiated in 1995. For example, the Sobig virus damages have been calculated on the basis of sampled productivity loss data combined with estimates of the number of machines infected and bandwidth lost worldwide. EVEDA limits the model for malware damage to productivity loss even though actual losses could be higher due to data deletion and modification, Trojans, brand loss and other factors, since some malware does not directly cause damage in this way.

The chart of the most damaging malware to date is available from the mi2g Intelligence Unit:

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